Today was our second day formally using ipads at centers. We borrowed a third ipad from the Kindergarten classroom down the hall so that we would have enough ipads for each child in a center group to have one. That worked really well. The children were incredibly engaged.
We used the Math is Fun app again today. The developer makes several different levels of this app. The 4/5 app is too easy for some kids, so I had them work on the 6-7 app. It was nice to have children working at different levels, but on similar looking programs. However, I’m still looking for an app that is a little better at individualizing instructional level.
Thanks to my favorite blog about using ipads with young children, A Digital Kindergarten, I think I may have found an app that fits the bill! It’s called Teach Me Toddler. Though I’m not thrilled with the name, (my 4 & 5 year olds would be insulted if I called them toddlers!) the app seems to be right at their level. One of the great things about this app is the fact that it allows each child to progress at their own rate, and then tracks that progress.
I was all set to jump right in with this app tomorrow, when I realized that up until this point, we’d been completely haphazard in terms of how we decided which student would use which ipad. I knew that if we started using an app that tracked progress, we’d need to have each student working on the same ipad each week so that record of progress would not be lost, or worse, jumbled by another student.
When our technology coordinator “gifted” us with our ipads, she also bought each of us a cover in different color so we could tell them apart.
This has been helpful for the four of us, but has also turned out to be a nice way to manage the ipads in the classroom. As of today, we have assigned each student to an ipad color: red, green or pink, making sure that no children in the same learning center group are assigned to the same color. This way the child will be able to return to the same ipad, each time they visit the ipad center and we will be able to track their progress. I’m looking forward to centers tomorrow when we can find out how well Teach Me Toddler is going to work. Look for a report in the next few days.